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California quakes cause $5 billion in damage to Navy base

LOS ANGELES — A preliminary estimate says it could take more than $5 billion to repair damage at a Navy weapons base from earthquakes that rocked the Southern California desert last month.

An early survey of nearly 3,600 facilities at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake found that repairing or replacing damaged buildings alone would cost about $2.2 billion but the total jumps to $5.2 billion when the costs of furniture, tools and equipment are included.

Because of damage, some parts of the base aren’t considered “mission capable.”

The sprawling Mojave Desert base is where some of the military’s most advanced weapons are tested. It’s also near the epicenter of twin earthquakes last month — one of them a magnitude-7.1 — that damaged dozens of homes.

Robert Jablon, The Associated Press